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Federal Funding Guide

ESEA Title II, Part A: Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants

$2.06B in funding is available for improving academic achievement, particularly among low-income and minority students, by increasing the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
Published: May 2019 Last Updated: July 2020


$2.06B, allocated by formula


Local Education Agencies (LEAs); for-profit or nonprofit entities through a grant or contract from an LEA; or an LEA in partnership with an Institution of Higher Education (IHE), Indian tribe, or tribal organization

Student Focus

This grant is appropriate for serving students, among others, who:

  • Are affected by trauma
  • Are affected by, or at risk of, mental illness
  • Are English Language learners
  • Are affected by disabilities
  • Attend schools with concerns about safety, drug and alcohol abuse, and chronic absenteeism

Sample Use of Funds

SEAs and LEAs have flexibility to carry out a wide variety of activities consistent with their specific needs. Activities could include:

  • Carrying out in-service training for school personnel in the techniques and supports needed to help educators understand when and how to refer students affected by trauma, and children with, or at risk of, mental illness
  • Developing programs and activities that increase the ability of teachers to effectively teach children with disabilities, including children with significant cognitive disabilities, and English learners, which may include the use of multi-tier systems of support and positive behavioral intervention and supports, so that such children with disabilities and English learners can meet the challenging State academic standards
  • Providing high-quality, personalized professional development that is evidence-based, to the extent the State (in consultation with LEAs in the State) determines that such evidence is reasonably available, for teachers, instructional leadership teams, principals, or other school leaders, that is focused on improving teaching and student learning and achievement, including supporting efforts to train teachers, principals, or other school leaders to help all students develop the skills essential for learning readiness and academic success
  • Carrying out in-service training for school personnel in addressing issues related to school conditions for student learning, such as safety, peer interaction, drug and alcohol abuse, and chronic absenteeism
  • Developing feedback mechanisms to improve school working conditions, including through periodically and publicly reporting results of educator support and working conditions feedback.

This grant has an extensive list of uses of funds. View the complete ESSA Federal Funding Guide below for the full list.

Key Provision: Stakeholder Engagement

LEAs must consult with teachers, principals, and other stakeholders in determining the best uses of Title II, Part A funds. States may require LEAs to confirm in their applications that they have involved these stakeholders not only in determining how to use the funds, but how to do so in ways that are likely to increase the probability that the funds have a necessary and positive impact on student achievement.

For more information, contact Tom Zembar at 202.822.7109 or [email protected]

Next Steps

You have a right to know if your state or district applied for the funds and influence how they are spent. Most grants have already been disbursed to your state and district, but others may require an application.

Once you find a grant, make sure it’s appropriate for your intended use. Then, contact your local NEA Affiliate to organize an effort to hold your district and state accountable for how the money is used.

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
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The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.